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After 40+ years of launching and managing non-profit feminist organizations, I've decided to share what I've learned as a professional feminist through lectures and teaching. Joining the women's movement in 1974 not only transformed my life, but also saved it! On my journey, I've learned about women's human rights, reproductive justice, white supremacy, and women of color organizing. I've decided to spend of rest of my time in the movement sharing what I've experienced with emerging activists in hopes that they too will join our human rights movement that has rocked the world. I am available as a speaker, trainer and teacher on many issues including Reproductive Justice, Appropriate Whiteness, Violence Against Women, and Calling In the Calling Out Culture.
I started my career in the women’s movement in the 1970s, working at the D.C. Rape Crisis Center, NOW (the National Organization for Women), SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, and the National Black Women’s Health Project. I am one of the co-creators of the Reproductive Justice framework in 1994, and have lectured and written extensively on reproductive justice issues, human rights, racism, appropriate whiteness, diversity issues, and violence against women, including another forthcoming book, What is Reproductive Justice? to be published in April 2017, and co-written with Rickie Solinger.
I am the former director of the first rape crisis center in the U.S. in the 1970s, and I'm presently writing a book on African American women in the abortion rights movement entitled Black Abortion
, along with working on my Selected Works for publication in 2017. I am also the co-author of Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice
, a 30-year history of women of color in the movement to protect women’s bodily autonomy and freedom. I was the Co-Director of the historic 2004 March for Women’s Lives, the biggest protest in U.S. history, with 1.15 million participants. I have worked to de-program white supremacists in the hate movement (see Los Angeles Times Up From Hatred/Floyd Cochran
). I've also helped build a U.S. based human rights movement focused on human rights violations in the United States by founding the National Center for Human Rights Education in the 1990s, with Rev. C.T. Vivian, Abdullahi An-Na'im, and Shulamith Koenig. NCHRE trained more than 1 million activists and students on how to bring human rights home to the United States to address violations here, helping social justice activists learn how to deploy this vital global framework.
In addition to my continuing work on reproductive justice, violence against women, and human rights, my current activism in my alleged retirement is focused on two primary projects: 1) Calling IN the Calling OUT Culture to address how activists weaponize their radical consciousness instead of using it to unite people across differences; and 2) Appropriate Whiteness trainings on how to encourage activists to fight against white supremacy and its handmaiden, white privilege.
I have appeared on CNN, BET, "Lead Story," "Good Morning America," "The Donahue Show," National Geographic Channel, and "The Charlie Rose Show” among others. I have been quoted as an expert in the New York Times, Time Magazine
, The Los Angeles Times
, the Washington Post
and many other newspapers and magazines. I am a member of the Women's Media Center's Progressive Women's Voices. I have worked with the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College since 2003 helping to collect oral histories of feminists of color. I received honorary doctorate degrees from Smith College and Arcadia University. I hold a B.A. in Women's Studies from Agnes Scott College in Atlanta. I can be reached at 404-867-6308 or at Loretta@lorettaross.com